Gun advocates expect to see a New York toy gun law ruled unconstitutional .
Advertisements in New York subway cars read:
In New York City it’s illegal to paint a real gun to look like a toy, and it’s illegal to sell a toy gun that looks real. If you see either call 311.
The majority of the Court is thought to consider this law to be a direct attack on free speech. Chief Justice Roberts said yesterday, “If it is legal for residents in the District of Columbia to own a gun to protect their homes from marauding bands of feral youths, then this ruling must also apply to New York. And if it applies to New York, how can you ban guns that look like toys and toys that look like guns?”
Justice Scalia commented, “The design of a gun is a function of artistic expression and reflects the world view and sensibility of the artist who designed it. As such it falls within the purview of the Second Amendment guaranteeing free speech. Even more so is the painting of a toy gun to look like a real gun. The very fact that it is painted shows that the painter wishes to create a resonance and reaction from the on-looker. The latter might cry, ‘That man has a gun in his hand - - he could hurt me’, whereas the painter believes that he is holding in his hand a piece of high art, wrought in oil or gouache. To suppress painted guns is a suppression of art and free speech.”
Justice Alito said, “Selling or wielding a gun is the right of every adult America citizen. But even more so is the possession of a toy weapon that is no weapon at all, but is fake. No harm can come to honest citizens held up by someone wielding a child’s toy, and thus no crime has been committed. In the event that the so-called victim hands over his wallet, all his money, his credit cards and the keys to his house and car, this is a voluntary act, because no physical attack has been made on the individual concerned.”
Justice Stevens is reported to dissent. In his fiercest criticism to date he commented, “The majority now seems to favor license over liberty. Every citizen should have a right to walk the streets of the nation’s cities without fearing that guns, real or otherwise, can be used in public to extort money and goods by menaces. ”
A spokesperson for the National Rifle Association welcomed the development. “This is a victory for America. But we regret that the Court believes that only adults can possess handguns on the streets. We will continue to fight for the right of every schoolchild over fourth grade to be able to go to school with a loaded gun for self-defense.”